Leadership in Family Medicine, Advocate for Community Health

From Kansas City Medicine, Third Quarter 2020
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Over his nearly 60 years serving the Kansas City community, Donald A. Potts, MD, has made a positive difference in the lives of the thousands of family medicine patients for whom he has cared, as well as the hundreds of medical students and residents he trained, and people throughout Kansas City who enjoy cleaner air thanks to his efforts.

For his accomplishments, Dr. Potts has been named the recipient of the 2020 KCMS Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Dr. Potts is one of the most admired physicians in Kansas City,” said Betty M. Drees, MD, KCMS 2020 president. “He is known as an excellent academic physician for his care of patients and his teaching in the Family Medicine Residency program at Truman Medical Center-Lakewood and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.”

She continued, “He has tirelessly worked to stop tobacco use in the region to improve the health of the community. He is one of the most committed members of organized medicine at both the local level with KCMS and at the state level with the Missouri State Medical Association. He is one of my personal role models for making everything he touches better.”

Dr. Potts earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas in 1962 and completed internship at the former Kansas City General Hospital.

For the first 20-plus years of his career, he was in private practice in Independence. In 1986, he joined the full-time faculty of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He moved his practice to Truman Medical Center-Lakewood, where he continued until retiring from full-time practice in 2003.

In organized medicine, he has been a KCMS delegate to the Missouri State Medical Association for over 30 years and served for 13 years on the board of directors of the Missouri Medical Political Action Committee. He was a board member of the KCMS Foundation from 1997-2006. Today, now at age 90, he remains an active member of the KCMS Retired Physicians Organization. One of his most remarkable achievements is serving for 47 consecutive years as the MSMA Physician of the Day each year for a selected day at the Missouri Capitol–most recently in February 2020 just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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